Junket market shift to create new opportunities?

China’s crackdown on corruption, increasingly stringent immigration controls and a recently proposed 21-million quota on annual visitors from the mainland has significantly changed Macau’s junket market, with promoters increasingly diverting business to surrounding regions and expanding their reach and scope.  David Rittvo* The market consensus is for Macau’s VIP gross gaming revenue to fall 30 percent to 40 percent this year. While some analysts state that the decline may have reached a floor, The Innovation Group believes there has been a shift in the market. This shift has moved beyond opening up junket rooms in other markets to making large capital commitments to integrated resort (IR) development. We have been actively observing the market dynamics associated with such a profound trend. On Korea’s Jeju Island, where half of the Korean foreigner-only casinos are located, operators have lined up Mandarin-speaking staff and VIP treatment for high-end players. The island has witnessed an addition of...

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